This past week, Border Patrol officers stopped a shooter at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas with quick, decisive thinking and actions.
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The shooter, Salvador Ramos, 18, had sent up numerous red flags before Tuesday’s attack, including cutting his face with knives and using a BB gun to target people randomly, Western Journal reported.
Ramos also shot his own grandmother before heading to the elementary school that day. His grandmother survived, unlike the 21 teachers and children at the school.
The Border Patrol agents acted, although the local police were waiting to act.
Almost 50 minutes went by with police standing by at the school without entering.
But this is not the first time Uvalde has been the setting for murderous intent.
According to Fox News, the high school in Uvalde was also forced to lock down a few ago when threats of violence were made. Those threats were traced to a former student, then 16, who was living in Puerto Rico.
“We have dealt with her before here, she went to school here in 2018. We had problems with her back then,” said Lt. Mariano Pargas Jr. of the Uvalde Police Department.
And, in another instance in 2018, two teens were arrested for conspiracy to commit murder after law enforcement officials said they were plotting a shooting at an Uvalde middle school inspired by the Columbine massacre in 1999, Western Journal reported.
In that case, fast action by the Texas Rangers and the Uvalde Police Department are credited with prevention of disaster.
Uvalde Chief of Police Daniel Rodriguez said in a media release at the time that the two boys charged in the crime, 13 and 14, planned a “mass casualty event against” Morales Junior High School, according to a May 2018 KENS-TV report.
“The investigation revealed that the students were infatuated with the Columbine High School shootings and identified themselves to the shooters,” Rodriguez said. “The investigation uncovered that the students even referred to themselves using the Columbine shooter’s names.”
The 13-year-old was a former student of the school while the 14-year-old was attending at the time of their arrest, and both planned to target particular students at the school, the Journal reported.
Law enforcement officials said the two boys originally planned to carry out the attack during their senior year, which was several years from that point — this year, to be exact. However, one of the two boys apparently wanted to move the attack up to 2018.
“According to the release, the teens were also planning on detonating IED’s before killing students from a list ‘ranked by priority,’” KENS reported. “After that, the release states the pair were going to kill at random before eventually turning the guns on themselves.”
“One of the students had numerous writings and drawings which depicted weapons capable of causing mass destruction. He wrote about being ‘God-like’ and killing police and other persons. He had an academic analysis of one of the Columbine shooter’s journals,” the release stated.
Westen Journal’s report stated, ‘Investigators from the Uvalde Police Department and the Texas Rangers began investigating the students in April of 2018. Mental health officials initially evaluated them on April 19, with the 14-year-old released to his mother’s care on April 23.
Then, on April 25, both were taken into custody for conspiracy to commit murder.
In a statement, the school district said the older student confessed to the plan after “experiencing a crisis.”
“Upon rendering aid and support, the student revealed a future plan to conduct a school shooting in the year of 2022. With the type of detailed information that was revealed by the student to law enforcement and confirmed in their investigation, the student has been arrested and will not be returning to our school,” Anne Marie Espinoza, the district’s executive director of communications and marketing, said in a statement.
Our school district has a strong partnership with our local law enforcement agencies and emergency responders. They share our commitment to student safety, and we are working closely with them to ensure all information is thoroughly evaluated and our school is as safe as possible. We ask our parents to assist us in reminding their child/children of the importance of telling a staff member if they ever become aware of a plan to harm individuals or of a weapon at school.”’
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Meanwhile, a student told the station KENS that the young men had sent up red flags before their arrest.
“Any kids that had talked bad about them or said anything they did not like, basically, they said they were going to go and kill them,” the student said. “You just felt unsafe. And teachers have been bringing it to our attention that you can’t be saying those things anymore. We can’t do that. It is wrong.”
The quick action of the police in 2018 juxtaposed with their reluctance to take action this week poses questions. Parents in Uvalde are reportedly stunned at the similar but different events, and how in 2018 red flags were addressed but in the case this week of Ramos, seemingly not noticed.